ReadingReading3DerbyDerby County1

Reading 3-1 Derby County: Royals keep play-off bid on track

Lucas Joao celebrates his goal against Derby
Reading striker Lucas Joao came off the bench to score his 19th league goal of the season

Reading maintained their place in the Championship play-offs with victory over Derby County.

The Rams had three chances in quick succession to take the lead in the 20th minute, as Colin Kazim-Richards hit the post with a header before Rafael Cabral saved Tom Lawrence's follow-up effort and then tipped another shot from Kazim-Richards over the bar.

Michael Olise fired the Royals in front in first-half injury time with a rising shot into the top left corner from just inside the D.

George Puscas doubled the hosts' lead 12 minutes after the restart when he hooked in the rebound after David Marshall could only parry away a shot from Yakou Meite.

A sensational 30-yard strike by Lawrence gave Derby hopes of a comeback, but substitute Lucas Joao turned in with six minutes remaining to secure Reading's first win in five.

Having been the early pace-setters in the division, a run of three draws in four had seen Reading's position in the top six come under threat.

Veljko Paunovic's men dictated play in the early stages but could have found themselves behind as Kazim-Richards rattled the woodwork from Craig Forsyth's cross and Cabral made two fine saves.

Olise put the hosts ahead with their first effort of the game and, after Reading had claims for a penalty waved away early after the restart when Ovie Ejaria went down under the challenge of Andre Wisdom, Puscas pounced to make it 2-0.

Derby rallied as Jack Stretton was inches away from getting on the end of a cross from Kazim-Richards and Cabral tipped over a fierce Max Bird shot from 25 yards.

After Lawrence shot across goal to pick out the top right-hand corner, Joao converted Thomas Holmes' knock-down to keep Reading a point ahead of seventh-placed Bournemouth, who won 2-0 at Blackburn.

Wayne Rooney's Derby have now won just one of their past nine games and are yet to be assured of survival, with the Rams remaining eight points above the relegation zone in 19th.

Reading boss Veljko Paunovic told BBC Radio Berkshire:

"I'm very happy but it wasn't an easy game against a hard opponent.

"The application and maturity we played the game with were very promising for this team. With six games left, that is what you need to win.

"The execution was clinical and defensively we did a good job. The goal we conceded was almost unstoppable.

"Everyone understands the opportunity we have in front of us. I am doing my job the best I can and have talented players who are committed."

Derby boss Wayne Rooney told BBC Radio Derby:

"I thought it was a very good performance. We created chances and should have scored more goals.

"Their first was a great strike and the two in the second half are sloppy from our point of view.

We can't afford to give goals away that easily.

"Their keeper had a good game and made some great saves. We have to take the positives."



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 33Cabral Barbosa
  • 17Yiadom
  • 29Holmes
  • 6MooreBooked at 50mins
  • 3RichardsSubstituted forGibsonat 67'minutes
  • 8Rinomhota
  • 28LaurentBooked at 83mins
  • 11MeiteSubstituted forAlukoat 89'minutes
  • 7OliseSubstituted forSemedoat 81'minutes
  • 14EjariaSubstituted forPontes Estevesat 89'minutes
  • 47PuscasSubstituted forLucas Joãoat 82'minutes


  • 2Pontes Esteves
  • 9Baldock
  • 15Gibson
  • 18Lucas João
  • 22Southwood
  • 24Aluko
  • 30Semedo
  • 34Tetek
  • 48Dorsett


Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Marshall
  • 12ByrneSubstituted forMacDonaldat 35'minutes
  • 2Wisdom
  • 15Mengi
  • 3Forsyth
  • 4Shinnie
  • 17SibleySubstituted forJozwiakat 62'minutes
  • 38KnightSubstituted forStrettonat 62'minutesSubstituted forRobertsat 81'minutes
  • 8Bird
  • 10Lawrence
  • 13Kazim-Richards


  • 7Jozwiak
  • 21Roos
  • 23Roberts
  • 26Buchanan
  • 31Bateman
  • 34Baningime
  • 37MacDonald
  • 39Stretton
  • 40Watson
Jonathan Moss

Match Stats

Home TeamReadingAway TeamDerby
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Reading 3, Derby County 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Reading 3, Derby County 1.

  3. Post update

    Tomás Esteves (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Graeme Shinnie (Derby County).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Sone Aluko (Reading).

  6. Post update

    Andre Wisdom (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Sone Aluko replaces Yakou Meite.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Tomás Esteves replaces Ovie Ejaria.

  9. Goal!

    Goal! Reading 3, Derby County 1. Lucas João (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Thomas Holmes with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

  10. Booking

    Josh Laurent (Reading) is shown the yellow card.

  11. Post update

    Ovie Ejaria (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Kornell MacDonald (Derby County).

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Alfa Semedo replaces Michael Olise.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Lucas João replaces George Puscas.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Derby County. Patrick Roberts replaces Jack Stretton because of an injury.

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Reading 2, Derby County 1. Tom Lawrence (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Yakou Meite (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Michael Olise with a through ball.

  18. Post update

    Lewis Gibson (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Kamil Jozwiak (Derby County).

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tom Lawrence (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Graeme Shinnie.

As It Stood

14Bristol City40154214055-1549
15Nottm Forest401212163439-548
23Sheff Wed39118203348-1535
View full Championship table

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